Workers' Compensation Committee Update
April 15, 2010

State Supreme Court Sides With Group Self-Insured Trusts

In a recently released Decision and Order in the Held v. WCB declaratory judgment action, the Court found that, notwithstanding the authority granted to the WCB under Sections 50(5)(f) and (g), assessing healthy Group Self-Insured Trusts for the obligations of defaulted GSITs represents an unconstitutional taking on plaintiffs. 

The decision further notes that assessing healthy GSITs for the obligations of unrelated defaulted GSITs raises "substantial questions of fairness," given that the WCB had never exercised its authority prior to 2007, and given that this aspect of liability was not addressed in the WCB's 2001 rules package. Read the full decision here.

Coming to a Theater Near You: MAP Webinar, May 7

Following a fairly contentious Senate hearing in early March, where virtually all presenters questioned or outright opposed the Board's efforts to implement a 'managed adjudication path', the Board regrouped internally on its MAP initiative. An educational webinar on a revised MAP process is set for May 7 at 1pm. The webinar will be archived if you're unable to participate in the premier. Registration details can be found here.

New Hire

The Board will welcome in the near term, Elain Sobol Berger, MD JD, as its new full-time Associate Medical Director. She will serve under Dr. Levin, the Board's Interim Medical Director, who serves in a part-time capacity. Dr. Berger has been an integral part of the 2007 Reform Task Force, and her hands-on knowledge of that work will hopefully provide for continuity at the Board as that the recommendations get translated into guidelines and regulations.

Looking for Your Summer Reading List?

It's never too early to plan for your beach reading and it looks as if the Board has several items to add to your list! Anticipated in the next weeks and months are draft regulations on everything from IMEs, to revised regulations on the Health Insurance Match program, to long-awaited rulemaking to implement the Medical Treatment Guidelines. The Business Council will be looking for member feedback on all rulemaking and will circulate regs upon their publication for comment.

First up and anticipated in the April 28 State Register will be rulemaking which sets forth how the cost of compensation will be calculated and the records employers must maintain to implement provisions of the 2007 reforms.

In Case You Missed It: Board Now Publishing Decisions on Web site

The Board announced in late March that it will now publish Mandatory Full Board Memoranda of Decision (MODs) every month on its web site.